17:24 GMT03 April 2020
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    Just after the so-called Siberian Maldives sparked a selfie craze, Spanish Instagrammers have discovered an alluring but dangerous mine-turned-lake. Swimming is strongly advised against, but some daredevils are defying advice and common sense.

    A picturesque turquoise lake in Galicia, north-west Spain that is doing the rounds on social media has turned out to be the remains of a contaminated industrial site and has been dubbed “Galician Chernobyl”.

    The lake, called Monte Neme, has a peculiar story. Spanish media say it was traditionally thought to be the place of witch covens, and it was also used as a mine by the Nazis during WW2 to extract tungsten (wolfram) to reinforce armaments.

    Local media report that in the 21st century the abandoned quarry was bought by mining firm Leitosa SAU, which exploited the site until going bankrupt in 2012.

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    Публикация от A M A N D A A R C A S (@missamandaarcas)

    Since then, the huge mine has been filled with rainwater which gave it an idyllic turquoise colour.

    The lake is similar to the ‘Siberian Maldives’ near Russia’s Novosibirsk, a dump site filled with coal ash and water from a nearby power plant.

    And just like the Russian lake, the tropical-looking waters of Monte Neme appear to be deceptive due to the toxic heavy metals like tungsten and lead that leak into it.

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    Публикация от • 𝑪𝒓𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒂 𝑩𝒂𝒍𝒂𝒏 • (@crib_92)

    Although there is a sign that prohibits entry, the area is not fenced, and quite a few people went for a swim. A sudden spike of Monte Neme’s popularity could be credited to the Galician government, which has used a photo of the lake in brochures about the region.

    One Instagrammer said that after taking a dip in the lake, she suffered from vomiting and a rash, while another had an allergic reaction.

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    Публикация от 𝑺𝒂𝒓𝒂 𝑫𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒔𝒂 𝑫𝒂 𝑹𝒐𝒄𝒉𝒂 (@saradevesa3)

    But one man decided to challenge all those who warn of the health problems swimming in Monte Neme can cause.

    An Instagram user under the handle izzyandtai posted photos of him jumping headfirst into the water.

    "I've seen the memes [about the hazardous lake] and I don't like you [expletive] freaks,” he wrote. He pledged to go swimming there every day of the summer to prove that the lake is not a toxic and that the whole story is a hoax.

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    Публикация от Puppets (@izzyandtai)

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